Parenting tip – Focus on the good
- January 29, 2020
- Posted by: LIFE International School
- Category: Parenting tips
How can you be purposeful in training your children? Focus on the good
One of the most important and difficult tasks for parents is knowing how to discipline children. Teaching them to behave correctly in the best possible way. Ultimately, it requires a lot of time and above all, a lot of patience.
Discipline is a responsibility with two sides; on one hand, to affirm and stimulate the right behavior and on the other, to correct the wrong behavior. If all the discipline is focused only on correcting, we will not achieve the best results for either the parent or the child. Children may develop resentment towards their parents, and the effectiveness of the discipline will decrease.
By nature, children desire to please and receive attention from their parents. If we only correct the wrong behavior, we will motivate a child to do the exact wrong behavior we are trying to correct. Because we reaffirm the misconduct by rewarding him or her with our attention. If parents become so negative that only have eyes for bad behavior. Then, unintentionally teach children that when they want to get our attention, they can repeat the bad behavior.
So, should we use correction?
Yes, but rather, it is important that the emphasis be on the other side of the discipline, positive reinforcement, rather than to reinforce the negative. However, we must be careful not to misuse the reward in order to get good behavior. Telling a child that if he doesn’t hit his little brother you will give him a piece of candy is a misuse of a reward. Rewards are most effective when given for what the child has done correctly. It is more effective to affirm and reinforce them positively, recognizing good behavior at the precise moment it is occurring.
It can be very difficult to practice positive reinforcement, because we are used to corrective discipline. That is why we must agree as parents to practice positive reinforcement. As part of applying the positive reinforcement technique, the most difficult thing is to decide when to ignore a misconduct. Of course, there are behaviors to which we must react in the moment they occur, especially those behaviors that can threaten child’s safety.
We can teach a child that after each meal he must take his plate to the kitchen. After doing it for several days, one day does not (surely out of oblivion). The best way to ensure that this slip is not repeated is to take every opportunity to “reward” his correct behavior with positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement works when the child learns that when he does what is expected, then he will attract the positive attention of his parents. He will be rewarded with the positive attention, the smile and the praise of his parents. Positive reinforcement is a strategy that works, because the child enjoys the pleasant sensation produced when he pleases his parents.
Parents who develop this type of “positive discipline” will learn to turn things around and take advantage of many occasions to encourage good behavior, with phrases like “How nice of you to share that toy with your sister”; “I love to see that you keep your room tidy ”; “ Thanks for helping me in the supermarket ”; and “ Nice try! I am proud of you.” To help our children to continue doing things well, we must appreciate and reinforce their successes.
Over time we can see that using positive reinforcement will become part of the family culture. When children are accustomed to being reinforced positively, they will also learn to practice it with their own family and in others social and professional relationships.
How can you be purposeful in training your children? Start affirming your children today and celebrating their good behavior with positive reinforcement.
For Sonia Maldonado PhD (firstname.lastname@example.org)